Chapter 112: The Name of the King

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Their reckoning comes when the victims they had tried to crush, the innocents they had tried to slay, the others they had tried to end, when those people rise up and slay them, when they declare the immortals their enemy. The immortals declared themselves to be gods, to be untouched by death. 

Now, their time has come.

***

Laidu awoke to a splitting headache. He massaged his head, then checked his hands. Good. They were normal again, the normal gold they had always been. Phew. He was safe. That... that horrible blood that had taken over him, that had turned him pitch black, that had made him nearly kill Kyra... it was gone. 

"It controlled me!" He looked to his left. He was in his inn room, lying on the bed, and to the left, his table suddenly burst into multicolored flames. "It made me strange, gave me power back over this body, but it changed me!" Kasran's voice issued forth from the flames, and he could make out a face in the blaze. "We are not going to do that again, you understand me?" 

The hallucinations were coming back, and this time, Laidu didn't even need to use the blood to prompt them. That worried him, but it was probably a result of him calling upon the wrong name. 

"Yep, that's exactly what it is." He turned, feeling a pressure on his leg, staring as the small, golden dragon from his dreams rubbed against the covers like a cat or a dog. "You're hurting your mind. Well, you'll give us more room, more space to occupy, once you've beaten the immortal."  Rhaem shifted. "Just do it after you've killed him. I don't want to be fighting the big grey beast and Kasran. And I wouldn't be fighting you, either. You're my friend, right?" 

"What do you mean?" Laidu didn't think those words; he spoke them aloud. That was troubling; clearly, these things were hallucinations (The multicolored flames didn't consume the table, for one thing), yet Laidu interacted with them as if they were real.

"If this keeps going, which, with your record of name accuracy, it will, then you'll end up like us," Kasran said. He chuckled, and the flames rippled with his laugh. "My guess is that,should  you mess up one more time, you'll just become one of us, or like us. We'll have just as much power and authority over this body as you do." 

Laidu was stunned. That... that sounded like something that he had heard of when he was younger, something that had given him nightmares for weeks. His father had to assist with an exorcism, and not the kind where a demon was banished from a place. This one had possessed a woman. 

He hadn't heard much, but the idea of another being inside someone had terrified him to no end. And, should he fail to name Rhaedra correctly, a similar and just as horrifying fate would befall him. Knowing Kasran, Kyra would be the first target. 

"Of course. The Hunger Blood may have changed me, but it doesn't change the fact that she makes you weak. Once I get control, I'm going to remove her." He was about to say something else, but then the door opened. 

Kyra walked in, and somehow, despite the various phantasmagorical visions and hallucinations surrounding her, she seemed more real than them, as if the mere sight of her was some lucid form that made the hallucinatory forms seem less real by comparison. Her eyes widened when she saw he was awake, and she quietly closed the door, before rushing to his side. "You're awake," she said, her hand cupping the side of his face. She frowned. "What are you looking at?" she asked. 

"Remember the voices?" She nodded. "Well, for a while, whenever I used my power, they'd start to appear as hallucinations. Now, I don't have to use my power." 

"Oh." She sighed. "I... I don't know what to say, what to do." 

"Be with me," Laidu said. "That's all we can do." 

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